My Bloody Valentine 3D 2009 Review
My Bloody Valentine 3D 2009
Directed by: Patrick Lussier
Starring: Jaime King, Tom Atkins, Jensen Ackles
Review by Luisito Joaquín González
This review brings back great memories for me as I wrote it just after getting out of this film’s premier in central London. That’s why I have chosen to leave it exactly as it was. I watched the film again recently and although I can say I was a tad generous here, I do still agree with most of what I said back then…
Taking a good look at the two heavily populated cinema ‘lives’ of the slasher genre, the most striking similarity is that they were started by the box office successes of a pair of stand-out features. Halloween in 78 launched a tidal wave of wannabes that included the much maligned but equally as heavily imitated Friday the 13th. The category had a good run, but eventually lost popularity mid-way through the eighties due to a restriction on gore, minimal funding and creativity from production teams. Wes Craven’s popular semi-parody, Scream from 1996, kicked off yet another major influx that sent the imitations crawling out of the woodwork and on to video-store shelves. Eventually, a lack of originality meant audiences and studios alike gave up on the cycle and it befell a similar fate that had sent its forefathers into obscurity.
There were thirteen years between the death of the Halloween-inspired glory days and Scream’s unexpected re-birth, so a believer in destiny such as I, may have indeed been forgiven for predicting that the time was upon us once again in 2009 for another run of masked killers and gratuitous gore.
Indeed, during that year there were a few great months where it looked like it could be a possibility, especially for fans of the original My Bloody Valentine. Not only did we learn that we would able to see the full uncut version of the original, repackaged on a shiny new DVD with extras; but also we were treated to this highly financed remake at a time when the category had sunk to the lowest of depths.
Harry Warden’s name lives long in the memories of the townsfolk of a small town in West Virginia after he went on a maniacal killing spree, butchering 22 people on a cold valentine’s night. Despite rumours that he was buried alive in the mines that he stalked, the body of the maniac has never been discovered. Fast forward ten years and it seems that the evil has returned, because a gas-masked maniac begins stalking the village and killing everyone that was somehow connected to the original massacre. Has Harry returned?
As the title accurately informs us, a key gimmick for the release of this remake was the fact that it is filmed in explosive 3D. Now many have tried to bring horror into the third-dimension, but the likes of Friday the 13th III, Silent Madness and Freddy’s Dead had failed drastically to make the most of an ingenious tool in the creation of supreme virtual terror. So with all that was riding against it, does My Bloody Valentine 3D actually deliver??
Like hell it does! Buckle your seat belts baby and prepare yourself for a speed-train through slasher clichés that has never been taken to such extreme heights. This is a non-stop juggernaut of fast-paced gore and shock tactics that will keep your heart beating at the speed of a Japanese freeway. You can mock the brainless script and the at times overly-gratuitous exploitation, but this is a slasher movie and slasher movies exist to give you two-hours of freedom from the stress of everyday life in a virtual-world where you can leave your brains at the door.
Firstly, the film is immensely gory. So much so that even a hardened old horror-addict like myself was cowering from the screen in places. Pick-axes through faces, dismemberment, eyes popping out of their sockets; and best of all, it’s all filmed in fantastic 3D. This is a car-crash of over indulgence that has the balls to drive to the borders of cinematic acceptability and then smash through them with its pedal to the medal. The pace is unrelenting and the suspense at times absolutely immense. Patrick Lussier may not be the next Hitchcock, but MBV 3D is not to be categorised alongside Psycho or Halloween. This is a film that sets out to shock in any way possible and on that level it succeeds. There’s one or two tense jump out of your seat jolts and a few credibly created scares that are all the better for the stylish production.
The cast do a good enough job of keeping the plot moving fluidly and the healthy financing means that no expense has been spared in the producer’s effort to unleash total mayhem on audiences. Jamie King takes us back to the Laurie Strode/Ginny Field era of brave heroines, but somewhat authentically, she also has huge character flaws. The story shares much with its predecessor and Lussier also re-uses many of the scenes that made Mihalka’s hit so memorable. This may well be the first slasher remake that actually pays credit to its heritage and unlike Rob Zombie’s insulting Halloween re-hash, MBV 3D can sit comfortably alongside its grandfather.
It’s not fashionable to give a slasher movie a good review and I can see without looking the piles of one-star write-ups that will be cluttering up column-space in the self-righteous brigade’s film magazines. I bet that many will be having a field day ripping this particular movie to shreds. Agreed, this is not an intellectual film. To be fair, in some places it doesn’t even do the basics right and there’s some shockingly poor plot holes towards the climax. For a fan of splatter flicks however, this is an hour and a half in paradise and I really enjoyed every moment of this long-overdue gore-soaked extravaganza.
This is not the next Shawshank Redemption and it has no intention of trying to be, so it should be judged on its merits as a gore film and on that level it is everything that you want it to be. Full frontal nudity, buckets of gore and all the things that your mama warned you about rapped up in a tense and riveting thriller with the added bonus of an intelligent twist (Was the killer really the only bad guy? I wouldn’t call the ‘hero’ good…) Prepare for the next invasion folks…
Just on that. The next invasion never came…. But I did hope for a while…
Killer Guise: √√√√√
Final Girl: √√√